Archive for the ‘2016 Presidential Election’ Tag
…oh, this is nice…now the parties have a new means of being corrupted by the powers-that-be:
WASHINGTON — Watchdog groups Thursday lambasted the nation’s election regulators for opening up another spigot of campaign money for national political parties.
By a 4-2 vote, the Federal Election Commission allowed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) to raise money to help fund their 2016 political conventions.
This year, Congress voted to cut off the millions that taxpayers normally provide to help underwrite the political extravaganzas where each party formally nominates its White House contender. Organizers were entitled to receive $18.2 million in federal funds for each of the 2012 conventions. Congress has opted to direct the money to pediatric medical research instead.
The political parties, scrambling for ways to make up the lost convention cash, won permission Thursday to set up new fundraising arms that will allow an individual to contribute up to $32,400 a year for the convention on top of the contributor’s other donations to the party.
That paves the way for wealthy individuals to contribute more than $250,000 to either the DNC or RNC during a four-year presidential election cycle, according to officials with the Campaign Legal Center watchdog group.
“This is a disgraceful and activist decision that ignores the laws passed by Congress to combat corruption,” the center’s Larry Noble said in a statement.(USA Today)
Elections have consequences…so do judicial decisions as well and thanks to both Citizens United & McCutcheon, the spigots are even more wide open for corruption to flow through.
Well, at least we now know about when Hillary Clinton will announce whether or not she’ll run for President in 2016…
Seen as the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton, 66, has remained coy on speculation of whether she would make another White House bid, after losing out to her fellow Democrat, Obama, in 2008.
She told the audience in Mexico City that she likely would make a decision after Jan. 1, 2015.
“I do have a unique vantage point and set of experiences about what makes the United States operate well and what doesn’t, and what a president can do and should be doing,” Clinton said.(WHBL – Sheboygan, Wisc.)
I’m of two minds here on HRC’s comments…on the one hand, as I said in the opening of the post, at least we now know to expect an announcement on whether she runs in 2016 or not. On the other hand, this effectively freezes the field on the Democratic field because if she runs, odds are she starts as the presumptive nominee, which wouldn’t bode well for whoever’s brave enough to challenge her.
The more I read Booman’s article about whether Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States, two thoughts cross my mind. On the one hand, barring some domestic or foreign policy disaster, Hillary Clinton – assuming she does declare her intent to run – is all-but-certain to be not only the Democratic nominee for President, but given the direction the country is headed at the moment, will probably be the next President in all likelihood.
On the other hand, this all assumes that she actually does decide to run…because if she decides, for whatever reason, not to run for President, all bet are off on who will succeed President Obama in the White House.
I’m of two minds here on an article over at Crooks & Liars concerning whether Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is considering a presidential run against ‘presumptive’ candidate Hillary Clinton….on the one hand, if he were to make a run at Hillary, I don’t think it would succeed – but I do think it would sharpen Hillary for the general election.
On the other hand, as long as I can remember, the Clintons – both Clintons – are known to have long memories towards those who challenge them and if Sanders does jump in, he’d damn well better win or else, should Hillary win come November 2016, progressives could once again find themselves aced out of the White House once more…
While it wouldn’t bother me if it happened, I’m of two minds here…on the one hand, regardless of who gets the Republican nomination, they’ve got two basic problems, one being the general leftward movement of the American voter in recent years and two, the Democratic colossus that is the current ‘presumptive’ Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
On the other hand, given the current shape of the GOP, it would be very interesting to see how the GOP tries to contort itself in order to fit Paul’s very libertarian views of foreign policy, drugs, and so forth within the broader spectrum of the GOP…and that alone would be worth the price of watching.
In and amidst all the news Friday came word from the Lone Star State that Texas Gov. Rick Perry had been indicted over allegations of public coercion and abuse of power. By now, as Booman points out in his article over at Booman Tribune, there are a lot of suppositions, rumors and random chatterings going about as a result, but there are a few solid thoughts over this indictment against Gov. Perry that come to mind…
First, by most legal accounts, this is going to be a difficult indictment to prove in court as the bulk of the indictment centers around Gov. Perry’s threat to veto – and subsequent veto of – funding for the Travis County DA’s Public Integrity Unit. Now, at first glance, this sounds very coercive – and given the circumstances at the time and the particulars surrounding the threatened veto – it may well have sounded coercive. However, as some have pointed out in the media, there was a partisan – wait, very partisan tilt – to this and that may’ve played into the indictments as well.
How so? For this reason: like most judicial offices in this country, most district attorneys’ offices are partisan offices for purposes of elections and like a good number of urban countries, Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmburg is a Democrat in a decidedly Republican state. Had she resigned following her arrest and conviction for a DUI back in 2013, Gov. Perry would’ve likely appointed a Republican to replace her, which would’ve allowed him to control the sole office in Texas that investigates public corruption by state officials. This is because, unlike in most states, where it is the purview of the state attorney general to investigate such cases, in Texas that power is given solely…to the Travis County District Attorney.
Form a partisan perspective, it is no wonder that Democrats’ screamed bloody murder over Perry’s threat – and subsequent veto of – funding for the Travis Co. office tasked with investigating public corruption…and why Republicans vociferously rushed to Perry’s defense. Given the situation, I don’t blame them for defending Perry’s actions here. What DA Lehmburg did was reprehensible and in most states, would’ve likely prevented her from re-assuming her duties as District Attorney (at least that’s the rule in North Carolina…case in point: former Durham County, NC district attorney Mike Nifong).
However, if this becomes the standard for abuse-of-power & public coercion indictments, then the standard for such indictments will have truly fallen for such indictments…and I say that as someone who has zero love whatsoever for Governor Goodhair. As I look at it, what Governor Perry did what equally reprehensible, for in vetoing funding to the Travis Co. PIU, he effectively shut down on-going investigations into corruption cases across the state, including a few that might have a bearing on the political fortunes of Texas GOP Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, especially when you consider that the Texas AG’s office had, by most accounts, zero interest in pursuing those cases.
FWIW, I agree with Booman’s perspective here: what we have with the Perry indictments are a case of someone acting in a very coercive and abusive manner that doesn’t quite reach the standard needed for a conviction. On the other hand, as he also points, this effectively torpedoes Perry’s nascent presidential aspirations, so even if the indictments don’t pan out, the damage to Perry’s political future may well already have been done.
After reading various news items and articles of interest – and after scouring through my own thoughts on the topic here – I’m of two distinctly different minds when it comes to the potential road that former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton has in front of her in regards to the 2016 presidential election (and the Democratic nomination).
On the one hand, we still don’t know whether she intends to run…and this is vital; if – for whatever reason (or reasons) – HRC decides not to run, then you’ve likely got one of the most wide-open and scrambolic Democratic primary campaigns in recent memory. The reason: at the moment, HRC is the presumptive nominee for the Dems’, which has not only tamped down potential insurgencies but also – to some extent – tamped down any latent enthusiasm Democratic base voters might have for 2016. I mean, just look at the fact that, for the all of talk of potential challengers to HRC, no one – and i mean, no one – has dared throw their name in the ring (and given the potential challengers – Elizabeth Warren, Martin O’Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Andrew Cuomo, etc. – and the reason is that no one, at least in my humble opinion, wants to get in and risk alienating Democratic voters by challenging someone who – like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania – would make history by being elected President.
On the other hand…should Hillary run for president, she’s going to have to address two concerns vital to those of us on the Left: (1)her 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq and (2)her seeming closeness to Wall Street. On the first point, there is the potential for trouble fir HRC in that she voted for the AUMF (a/k/a the Iraq War Resolution) when a sizeable chunk of the Democratic base opposed it and continues to oppose military action in Iraq. In this case, she runs the risk IMO of sounding too much like the neocons who’ve been thoroughly discredited over the past decade, thus opening herself up to attacks from both liberal and conservative critics of hers’. On the second point, I’ve made my views clear on this: if Hillary wants to energize the populist wing of the Democratic party, she honestly needs to throw – and throw in a public way – Wall Street under the bus. Would it cost her support from Wall St.? To some degree, yes..but it would also help begin to make a clear distinction between the two parties in regards to economic & business policy, which in recent years has shrunk to almost nothing. It would also help energize labor unions, who despite their shrinking numbers still make up a sizeable chunk of the Democratic base.
So, to the answer above…does Hillary have a rock road to the 2016 Democratic nomination? Right now, I don’t think that answer can be given…but as with anything in American politics, nothing is certain.